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All I Want for Christmas Is Holiday Tunes

December PPM ratings brought good news for AC-formatted stations

“The Christmas Shoes” and “All I Want for Christmas Is You” might drive a portion of the American populace crazy, but there is also a segment of the population who look forward to these festive tunes all year long.

That’s good news for radio stations that switch to a holiday format in November and December.

According to Nielsen, the latest Portable People Meter ratings showed adult contemporary radio ended the year stronger than ever. More AC stations go “all-Christmas” than other formats, and that bet paid off in December, resulting in a 10.5% share of national listening among all consumers aged six and older. In 2016, those stations had 8.7% in December, which was up from 8.6% in December 2015.

The growth in tune-ins was particularly significant from 3 –7 p.m. weekdays. Nielsen shares chart illustrating the adult contemporary audience increase (averaged over a five-year period) broken down by daypart. Afternoon drive time had the greaterst increase (28%), followed by mid-day at 21% and then AM drive at 18%.